New Delhi: Russia's Sputnik V vaccine on Monday got the approval for emergency use authorisation by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), as applied by Dr Reddy. It will be the third COVID-19 vaccine after Covishield and Covaxin to receive the official nod.
On Monday, Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary delved deeper into the issue of vaccine shortage in India and will Sputnik V's emergency use approval change the course of things.
As the COVID-19 infection spreads rapidly in India with over 1,68,000 new cases being reported in the last 24 hours. At this pace India is fast approaching two lakh new COVID-19 cases in a day. The challenge now is that as the infection is spreading faster the production of vaccine is not as per the requirement.
In simple words, the vaccine is in demand but not being supplied and that is affecting the vaccination process in many states. Currently, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Assam and Uttarakhand have reported vaccine shortage.
The Bharat Biotech company which supplies COVAXIN, is making 50 lakh doses a month while Serum Institute of India is preparing 7-10 million doses of Covishield. But India needs more than this and that's why the Subject Expert Committee has approved Sputnik V. Now there are three vaccines in India.
The efficacy rate of Sputnik V is 91.6 per cent while the Efficacy Rate of Covishield is 79 per cent and that of Covaxin is 81 per cent.
The efficacy rate is measured by how many people got it right during the trial, however, this is not a success rate. Success rate is known only when it is applied to people.
The vaccine is being provided in nearly 60 countries, this vaccine is much cheaper than the vaccines Pfizer and Moderna. Its two doses cost $10 which is approximately about Rs 750.
The approval of Sputnik V will reportedly also reduce pressure on the other vaccine making companies. The Serum Institute of India (SII) has written a letter to the NITI Aayog asking for financial assistance of Rs 3000 crores. The company says that it wants to develop a new lab separately to increase the production capacity of the vaccine.
Also, Bharat Biotech too also asked for Rs 150 crore rupees to increase their manifacturing capacity by spending more money on their labs in Hyderabad and Bangalore.
India has provided 10 million 45 lakh vaccines so far. But many state governments have requested that the age criterion regarding the use of the vaccine be lifted. They argue that it should also be made available to people 25 years of age or older. But India can not get crores of doses of Sputnik V immediately but in a few weeks.
India at the moment needs 10.5 crore vaccines every month, but it is able to manufacture about 7 crore vaccines. Which means there is a shortage of 3 crore vaccines every month and this shohrtage can be met by Sputnik V. If India wishes, it can make 85 crore doses of Sputnik V every year.